Navigation Links
Mapping the spider genome
Date:5/7/2014

The fact that the eight-legged creepy spider in some ways resembles humans is one of the surprising conclusions after researchers at Aarhus University and the Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) succeeded in sequencing its genome.

However, it is more a discovery on an awesome scale. The sequencing has far greater significance for our future understanding of the spider's special properties.

"In brief, we've acquired a tool for everyone interested in spiders," say Kristian W. Sanggaard and Jesper S. Bechsgaard, Aarhus University. Together with Xiaodong Fang, BGI, they are the first authors of the study, which has been published in Nature Communications. By describing the spider genome, the researchers have roughly speaking drawn up its genetic map. This map can be used in future to navigate to and delve into different areas of the spider's functions which will now be easier to describe.

What is a spider?

The researchers worked with two types of spiders, representing two of the three main groups in the spider family. One of these is a small velvet spider and the other is a tarantula.

The researchers succeeded in sequencing the velvet spider's genome, while there are still some unsolved gaps in the genetic map of the tarantula.

"The idea was that, by comparing their genetic makeup, we'd try to see whether we could say anything in general terms about what makes a spider a spider," says Kristian W. Sanggaard. However, it is almost 300 million years since the two types of spiders had a common ancestor, so the researchers could only find a limited number of similarities. "But we found a number of genes about two to three hundred that have only been found in these two types of spiders and not in other organisms. They could be candidates for genes specific to spiders," says Jesper S. Bechsgaard.

From overview to insight

The researchers were not content with simply mapping the spider genome. They also looked at the protein composition of two of the most interesting areas of the 'crawly cousins' silk and venom production. By including the proteins, they did not restrict themselves to providing a map, but they also filled in details on two specific points. James Watson, who was awarded a Nobel Prize for describing the structure of the DNA strand, called genes the 'script' and proteins the 'actors'. By describing the proteins, the researchers thus demonstrated so to speak that their script works. Or to keep to the map analogy that the genetic map actually leads in the right direction. This is one of the only studies in which the proteins are described along with the genome. This was possible because the Aarhus researchers have some of the most advanced mass spectrometry equipment in the world for sequencing large numbers of proteins.

We can learn from spiders

The spider is a fantastic hunter. With the aid of its web, it can catch prey that are several times larger than itself, and it can also use its venom to subsequently kill the prey. Many researchers all over the world would like greater insight into areas such as how it makes its silk of thin, but incredibly strong thread, and how its venom works. By understanding the underlying mechanisms, we will possibly be able to convert this to industrial use in the long term, for purposes such as manufacturing biomaterials or developing medicine and pesticides. By describing the genome, the researchers have acquired a much better tool than they previously had for studying spiders. "People can select an aspect or feature of the spider they're interested in, and then utilise the 'genetic map' we published and which we ourselves have used to study silk and venom. This provides completely new opportunities for spider researchers," say the two Aarhus researchers. They personally intend to use the genome for further work with studies of the spider's digestive enzymes and immune system.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jesper Smærup Bechsgaard
jesper.bechsgaard@biology.au.dk
45-61-68-43-34
Aarhus University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. UC Davis Purchases Irys System From BioNano Genomics To Advance Genome Mapping And Assembly Of Wheat Relative
2. Mapping the demise of the dinosaurs
3. EUREKA grant to fund development of new optogenetic technique for mapping neural networks at UMMS
4. 3D mapping is a Pisa cake for Aussie scientists
5. Richness mapping and prediction of amphibians in Southern and Central China
6. Lab-on-a-chip tech, brain mapping & microbiome highlighted at translational med meeting
7. Biochemical mapping helps explain who will respond to antidepressants
8. Mapping the benefits of our ecosystems
9. Mapping the embryonic epigenome
10. Mapping of cancer cell fuel pumps paves the way for new drugs
11. Brain Activity Mapping Project aims to understand the brain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Mapping the spider genome
(Date:6/2/2016)... -- Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems, Biometrics ... Support & Other Service  The latest report ... analysis of the global Border Security market . ... $17.98 billion in 2016. Now: In November ... software and hardware technologies for advanced video surveillance. ...
(Date:5/16/2016)...   EyeLock LLC , a market leader of ... an IoT Center of Excellence in Austin, ... of embedded iris biometric applications. EyeLock,s iris ... security with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it the most ... EyeLock,s platform uses video technology to deliver a fast ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... FRANCISCO and BANGALORE, India , ... of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... provider, today announced a global partnership that will ... way to use mobile banking and payment services. ... is a key innovation area for financial services, but it ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... 2016  Liquid Biotech USA ... a Sponsored Research Agreement with The University of ... from cancer patients.  The funding will be used ... with clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a ... be employed to support the design of a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... find the most commonly-identified miRNAs in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings ... here to read it now. , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Md. , June 23, 2016 A person ... from the crime scene to track the criminal down. ... the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA ... sequencing to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...   EpiBiome , a precision microbiome engineering company, ... financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The financing will ... its drug development efforts, as well as purchase additional ... has been an incredible strategic partner to us – ... would provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes Hammack , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: